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Impulse

July 5, 2006

After flying for hours buoyed by a natural compulsion to follow the light, 400 warblers hit a net of wires holding up a communications tower in Madison, Wisconsin. The sea of night, like an expert fisher, corralled their falling bodies, while above them in the tower below the clouds our disembodied chatter went on without cease.

by Maria Benet of Alembic

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  1. July 5, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    Oh, Maria. This is beautiful.

  2. July 6, 2006 at 7:42 am

    This touches me, disturbs me. The beauty of the words you’ve chosen seems to accentuate the distressing subject: how death, even senseless mass death, occurs unnoticed and our chattering activity goes on.

  3. July 6, 2006 at 8:29 am

    – and even more disturbing, that our chattering is the indirect cause of these mass deaths. The proliferation of cellphone and other communications towers along the ridgetops used for migration are likely a very big contributor to the steady decline in numbers of many once-common warblers, thrushes, tanagers, and other migrating songbirds.

    Thanks for casting this issue into such high relief, Maria. This really shows the power of a few, well-chosen words.

  4. July 6, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    Maria, this is lovely.

  5. July 15, 2006 at 12:45 am

    Lovely and disturbing! Dave said it.

  6. July 18, 2006 at 5:50 am

    What everyone else said. Really powerful. I’d love to see it get more exposure.

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